Not too long ago, Nintendo added support for the Wii U to play Wii games on the Gamepad. This is one of the items I’d hope to see. Below is a list of other things I either hope to see, would like to see, or think would be interesting to see from Nintendo.
- 2014-01-25: Added “Wii U HomePass” section.
Accessing Wii Mode on Wii U Gamepad
When selecting to play Wii games on the Gamepad, you are required to first aim the Wii remote at the TV and select between TV only or TV and Gamepad. I’d like to see an option to select the latter without needing the TV on. After all, if someone wants to play on the Gamepad, they may not have access to the TV.
Interestingly enough, if you hold the B button at the Wii U logo when powering on the Wii U, it will launch in Wii mode without needing to point the Wii remote at the TV.
Wii U Gamepad in Wii Mode
Wii games on the Gamepad do not support the Gamepad as a controller. It should be relatively trivial to have the Gamepad fake itself as a Classic Controller to the Wii software. This should make up for not being able to use the Gamecube controller for anyone who doesn’t own a Classic Controller. This would allow using the Gamepad exclusively to play Wii Virtual Control games, as well as certain Wii games such as Smash Brothers.
I’ll be surprised if Nintendo doesn’t add this in an update by summer of 2014.
Update: Starting January 2015, certain Wii titles can be downloaded on the Wii U, and if they support a Classic Controller, the Wii U Gamepad can be used as a controller. The virtual Wii still lacks support for this as of July 2016.
Shared Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console Downloads and Synced Game Saves
If a person buys a Virtual Console game that is available for both the Wii U and 3DS, it should be available to play on either. If Nintendo really wants to double dip, they can at least be less greedy about it: buy on one system, get it on the other system as well for only $1.00. (This would be similar to getting a discount on Wii U Virtual Console games you already own on the Wii Virtual Console.)
Some people will have already bought the game on both the Wii U and the 3DS. They might feel ripped off if they had to pay twice, only to find others can buy once and play on both systems. This is easy to handle. Simply credit the user’s account for one of their two purchases of the same game. This would be a massive boost for Nintendo’s image for people who buy Virtual Console games for both systems, and probably in general for any unaffected Nintendo gamers reading news stories about it.
Syncing saved game data the Wii U and 3DS not only should be simple enough, but the user interface for it can be handled easily. The Virtual Console needs only add a button for syncing data from one system to the other. After that, if you sync your saved data from the Wii U to the 3DS, then attempt to play the game on the Wii U, it can give a warning: “You have not synced from your 3DS to your Wii U. If you continue, you may lose game progress.” Then give two buttons: “Sync” and “Continue without Syncing”.
When resuming playing a Wii U Virtual Console, you already see a screen which the syncing message could be added to:
Handheld Games on the Wii U
How many people buy a home console but not a handheld? This was certainly the target market for the Super Game Boy (which allowed playing Game Boy games on the Super Nintendo) and the Game Boy Player (which allowed playing Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games on the GameCube).
3DS Games on Wii U (with Synced Game Saves)
At the time of this writing, there are over 300 retail games out or announced for the 3DS in all regions, over 200 in North America. What if Nintendo announced an increase in Wii U’s catalogue by over 200 games?
By allowing 3DS games to be bought from the Wii U eShop and be played directly on the Wii U, the size of the Wii U’s library would skyrocket.
Using the syncing concept from my prior idea, 3DS owners who’ve downloaded retail games from the eShop could play on the Wii U, syncing their save data between devices.
Wii U Handheld Player
Not everyone buys 3DS games through the eShop. And there’s a huge catalogue of DS games out there, nearly 1,300 titles released in the United States alone, that would not be available for download. This is where a $40 device would come into play.
Such a device could plug into the USB, and can have two slots supporting:
- Game Boy games
- Game Boy Color games
- Game Boy Advance games
- Nintendo DS games
- Nintendo 2DS/3DS games
This would open a huge library of games to the Wii U for console gamers who do not buy handhelds.
Update: On 2014-01-30, Iwata stated in a financial briefing that Nintendo was going to pursue adding DS games to the Wii U Virtual Console.
Wii U Physical Console Player
If Nintendo really wanted to go all out, they could also release a $40 device for plugging in a NES, SNES, or Nintendo 64 games. The Wii U would need only read in the data from the game and load it into the Virtual Console emulator. The Wii U could even store the ROM data (only read once), but require the game be in the device to play it. Saved game data could initially be read from the cartridge, but likely would be better stored solely on the Wii U afterwards.
Emulation might not be as simple as with handheld games, however. Additionally, Nintendo might not want the grief from having gamers find their 20-year-old games may no longer work.
Update: Although no the same thing, on 2016-07-14, Nintendo announced the “Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System” which is essentially a Virtual Console box with support for 30 NES titles (in the US). It’s been reported that the system will not support Wi-Fi, so there is no chance of being able to purchase and download other NES games through the device.
Virtual Console Controllers
I like playing Virtual Console games with the Japanese Nintendo Club Super Famicom (SNES) controller. Just plug it into a Wii remote, wish it had a longer cord, and you’re good to go.
This might be too expensive, but if possible, release NES, SNES, N64, and Gamecube wireless controllers that act similar to a Wii U Pro Controller. A software update can allow the Wii U to recognize specifically which type of controller it is. Also, allow remapping the buttons.
Since this likely wouldn’t be a high volume seller, they could be sold exclusively through Nintendo’s website, similar to the much-too-expensive Wii Remote Rapid Charging Cradle and Rechargeable Battery that I might actually consider buying if i-con’s USB-chargeable battery packs didn’t work so well for me.
Update: On 2014-05-30, Nintendo announced an adapter to use GameCube controllers on the Wii U. Similar adapters could be released for older controllers if Nintendo felt the market was there for them.
Update: On 2016-07-14, Nintendo announced the “Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System” which includes an NES Classic Controller. The controller will also be available sold separately.
Wii U HomePass
Nintendo has in various stores StreetPass Relay Stations, which allow Nintendo 3DS systems to connect to a Nintendo Zone and receive StreetPasses from people across the country.
“HomePass” is the unofficial name for creating an unofficial Nintendo Zone at home that mimics a StreetPass Relay Station, allowing StreetPasses from home.
Nintendo can take the concept of HomePass and implement it within the Wii U. The Wii U can transmit 3DS StreetPass data from and to Nintendo’s StreetPass Relay Station servers. Then, the Wii U can connect with and transmit data with the owner’s 3DS.
The most notable difference would be that StreetPass Relay Stations send you Mii’s that visited a StreetPass Relay Station prior to you. Those Mii’s owners will not receive your Mii. A Wii U HomePass could ensure everyone whose Mii you receive also receives yours.
Because HomePass would result in finishing the 3DS Puzzle Swap puzzles much more quickly, Nintendo could release new 3DS Puzzle Swap puzzles based on Wii U games. These puzzles would only be available to 3DS systems connected to a Wii U HomePass.
This idea would increase the value of both the Wii U and the 3DS for owners of both who (such as myself) never encounter other 3DS owners, and do not visit the stores where StreetPass Relay Stations are located.